"We have a motto in the team that the difficult days are the ones our competitors regret, because the painful experiences make you so much stronger. If you keep calm and analyse what happened, and try to improve, it just adds to your strength and knowledge."
This was Toto Wolff, speaking after his Mercedes Formula 1 team clinched its fourth consecutive constructors' championship crown at last year's United States Grand Prix. It's a mantra that underpins the way F1's current top team operates - a forensic approach to identifying weaknesses and obliterating them, leading the opposition to rue the day they dared threaten the Silver Arrows' lofty status as grand prix racing's dominant force.
Mercedes flirted closer to disaster in 2017 than at any other time during its recent reign at the top of F1. Early struggles under the newly enhanced aerodynamic regulations - rules Wolff feels were designed with the express aim of dethroning his team - presented an open goal for rivals to aim at. Ferrari came within a few Sebastian Vettel errors and freak engine failures of burying that chance, but Mercedes prevailed.